Attleboro DUI/OUI Defense Lawyer
Also Serving Clients in Fall River
Being arrested for operating under the influence can cause a tremendous disruption to your family life and employment. Whether it is a first-offense DUI or a subsequent one, you need to know your options and what to expect before you make any decisions about how to handle your case. The Law Office of James M. Caramanica, P.C. can help. With decades of experience, our Attleboro DUI/OUI defense lawyer has the in-depth knowledge and insights to help you secure a favorable outcome for your future.
Strategies That Can Help
Being pulled over for impaired driving does not automatically make you guilty of the crime. In many cases, police unlawfully stop drivers in order to make arrests. Our Attleboro criminal defense lawyer has experience with these cases and knows how to best help you.
The Law Office of James M. Caramanica, P.C. can examine:
- Whether the police had a valid reason to stop your car
- Whether the police had a valid reason to order you out of your car
- Whether any field sobriety tests (FSTs) administered to you were given properly
- Whether any statements made by you can be suppressed
- If a breathalyzer was given, whether it was administered properly and whether the machine was properly functioning
Things to Know About Your License
If you refused to take the breath test and this is a first offense, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for 180 days. If you have taken the breath test with a reading of .08 percent or above, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will take your license for 30 days.
Breath Test Refusal Suspensions
If you refused a breath test, you are entitled to a hearing to challenge your refusal suspension. This is an important hearing for you, and you only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to appeal. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles does not give work or daytime licenses for breath test refusal or breath test failure suspensions—you either get the license back completely or not at all.
The first step is at the RMV, where a brief hearing is conducted. The hearing is frequently denied, but asking for onE is a necessary step in the procedure. Assuming the RMV denies the hearing appeal, the second step is to petition the district court where you were arraigned to reverse the Registrar's decision. An aggressive attorney is important at this stage.
The appeal is somewhat technical in nature. When you were brought back to the police station after your arrest, the officer should have completed some forms according to procedures set forth by the Registrar. Sometimes, this paperwork is not completed in the proper form or at all. You should not try to this appeal on your own, you need a lawyer who has experience in Massachusetts DUI laws and who knows how the Registry of Motor Vehicles works and what to look for in the forms.
What Are Your Options?
You have two options when charged with DUI: Either plea/admit to the charges or fight the case. If you take a plea, you will likely receive a standard first offender’s disposition. Every case is different and you may receive additional conditions of probation that are not listed below.
The standard first offender disposition includes a continuance without a finding (CWOF) sentence, which is a non-conviction that results in your probation for a defined period of time. If you successfully complete this period, the case is dismissed.
If you are charged with another DUI—even if the first case is dismissed after a CWOF—the RMV will still treat the second arrest and disposition as a subsequent offense.
Consequences can include:
- One-year probation
- Fees and fines of around $1,380
- An additional license suspension of 45-90 days
You may be eligible for a hardship license, which is a 12-hour license seven days a week. Should you decide to retain our services, we will help you get a hardship license.
If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), your driving privileges will be revoked for one year.
If you are charged with a subsequent offense, you could face serious consequences:
- A jail sentence of up to 2.5 years
- Probation with a mandatory 14-day inpatient program
- 2-year license suspension
- Felony sentencing with a 15-day minimum mandatory sentence in jail
- License suspension of up to 8 years
- Jail sentence of up to 150 days
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Requirement to provide a DNA sample
- Jail sentence of at least 1 year
- Fines of up to $25,000
- License suspension of up to 10 years
- Jail sentence of at least 2.5 years
- Fines of up to $50,000
- Lifelong license suspension
Subsequent Offender Status
Effective November 30, 2002, "Repeat offender" status for drunk driving cases is determined in Massachusetts based on a "Lifetime Lookback." This means that even if you had two OUI/DUI/DWI convictions 30 years ago, they will count against you.
A previous CWOF with an assignment to an alcohol education program will count as a first offense. Additionally, if you have been charged with an out-of-state offense with a Massachusetts driver's license, you may also be treated as a subsequent offender.
Even if a court considers you a first or second offender in a Lifetime Lookback type of situation, the RMV is not bound by the court's classification of you. For instance, if you are charged with a first offense even though you had two prior DUI convictions in Massachusetts or another state that were over 10 years old, the RMV will likely consider your conviction a third offense and suspend your license as such.
Keep your driving privileges. Call (508) 690-4808 now and schedule your free consultation.
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